Posted by: okathleen | February 17, 2009

Tea Dance

It’s Half Term, and despite the fact that my offspring are brainy and bright they are sadly lacking in the ‘how to amuse ourselves’ department.

I blame myself. And society. It’s all society’s fault. When I was their age I was sent off in the morning with a jam sandwich and an apple and told to report back in time for tea. 


And off I went, on my Chopper, ribbons flaring from the handlebars, not a care in the world. Off to the rope swing in the park, or the sandpit at the Tennis Club, or the stream in the woods.

Nobody knew where I was or who I was with. Paedophiles hadn’t been invented then. 

There are zillions of paedophiles now though. On every street corner, behind every net curtain, in every van or Ford Mondeo, they lurk and linger and wait to pounce.

So my children are wrapped up in anti-paedo cotton wool, tagged with mobile phones, escorted to and fro, drilled in the anti-paedo warfare of whom to speak to, and whom not. Every second of their pampered and cosseted day accounted for. 

No room to breathe or grow, or even cross the road alone. Left to their own devices what would they do?  We did try last year. On a beach in Wales.

We put down the blanket and the frisbee and the picnic and the football and the buckets and the kite and the dinghy and said off you go then. But they didn’t go anywhere. They were lost and bewildered without a Director there to say ACTION.

And that is me, I am the Entertainment Committee. So today we scraped the barrel of  the Shopping Mecca Trafford Centre Temple. Shopping’s entertainment isn’t it? The girls headed off to try on makeup/dresses/shoes.

Leaving Charles and me hanging over a balcony silently watching sad surreality.


The Tuesday Tea Dance. A four piece band accompanied dozens of purple permed pensioners as they quickstepped in slow motion around the quasi poop deck of an ocean going liner. 


Stop and consider! Life is but  a day;

A fragile dewdrop on its perilous way

From a tree’s summit…

John Keats 1817



  1. how sad, funny, and so true.
    just not the same world we grew up in!

  2. Abso-bloody-lutely. My children are completely unable to be bored, even for five minutes. Today, I took them to our city’s castle for some of the ‘fun’ activities they had laid on for over-cossetted little sh*ts with the attention spans of mayflies. After five minutes of making a medieval crown, my son informed me that making things was ‘gay’. I gave him a lecture about homophobia and tolerance, at which point he said I was gay too.
    My daughter ignored me for two hours because I forced her to share her sweets with her brother and her friend. Other than that, it was a totally successful day out. Ahem.

  3. It’s the paranoia, of course, which is out of all proportion to the danger. Except for the traffic.That is deadly. I always made a point of never saying to Frannie that the world is a dangerous place. I would point out to her regularly that she lived in one of the safest places in the history of human existence, and I didn’t even mention stranger danger to her until she was a bit older. And she took it on board, being pretty fearless to start with. Perhaps that was a bit reckless of me, but the point is that I wasn’t fearful about the world, so why make her?
    However since no other parents did this it didn’t really help. She couldn’t go and do anything with anyone anyway……
    Kate always says to Finn: ‘boredom is good;it’s where creativity comes from’ which usually elicits eyebrow raising and muttering…….

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